On September 29th, MFT closed on a purchased easement on the McLaughlin Farm in Wilton. The McLaughlin Farm has operated primarily as a dairy farm for over 100 years. In the more recent past, the dairy infrastructure was sold off separately from the land and the fields have been leased by local dairy farmer Richard Corey. The property recently came up for sale and Richard and his wife Michelle decided to partner with Jan Collins and Irving Faunce, who own a neighboring blueberry farm, to purchase the McLaughlin Farm’s 120 acres of fields and forest. Proceeds from the simultaneous sale of an agricultural conservation easement went towards the purchase of the farm. The purchase and protection of the McLaughlin Farm ensures that the fields will remain available for Richard’s use, and also increase the likelihood that the fields and forest can be reconnected with the dairy infrastructure sometime in the future.
On September 26th, MFT closed on two purchased easements on the Meadowsweet Farm in Swanville. Sumner Roberts, a longtime fixture at the Belfast Farmers Market, began raising pastured livestock at Meadowsweet Farm in the early 1990s. Sumner is in the process of selling a 95-acre portion of the Meadowsweet Farm to an incoming farmer and wanted to ensure that the farm was protected from development as part of that transition. Sumner will be downsizing his operation and moving to a house he is renovating right down the road from the original farmhouse. Another easement will protect approximately 43 adjacent acres of fields and forest that Sumner is retaining. Both pieces of land have highly productive soils and will now remain available for agricultural use forever.